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Prime Minister John Key joked on the Late Show with David
Letterman that he will chauffeur Americans if they take up his
offer to visit New Zealand in the next month.
Key has appeared on the popular TV chat show, giving the regular
and light-hearted top-10 segment a New Zealand flavour.
Among his offerings were that "New Zealand is a convenient 20-hour
flight away" and "if you go in the next 30 days I'll pick you up at
the airport personally".
He also told Letterman's audience of millions of viewers that
"unlike the rest of the world, we like America".
Key said he and Letterman joked about the distance between the
US and New Zealand, with the talk-show host saying that New Zealand
was his favourite country that he has never visited.
Letterman has a fear of flying, but said he took a great interest
in New Zealand.
Knowing Letterman was a motor-racing fan, Key presented him with a
Indy 500 champion Scott Dixon T-shirt.
Speaking afterwards, the prime minister was humble about his
"They've got their writers and they write the show. Some of the
humour wouldn't apply to a New Zealand audience."
Tourism NZ had pushed for a spot on the show so that Key, New
Zealand's tourism minister, could push the country's profile.
It says the value of Key's appearance is hard to quantify, but
if it was an advertising slot, it would be worth tens of
millions of dollars.